Risk Management - Children at Western
Welcome to the Children at Western online toolkit!
For most colleges and universities, the vast majority of people studying, living and working at our schools, and participating in our programs, are considered adults under the law. Yet most of our schools have significant interaction with children and offer various academic, artistic and athletic programs that cater to these younger students. Because of an increased legal, moral, and social duty owed to children, they pose a particularly sensitive oversight challenge and increase in responsibility.
Check back frequently. This is a developing and iterative process and materials can and will change periodically.
A group of University stakeholders has been assembled to review existing and develop new policies and procedures to protect children in programs at Western, and to review policies and training programs for reporting known or suspected abuse of children. The Children at Western Leadership Group will develop University-wide approaches to satisfy these goals.
What is a Child-Related Program?
A child-related program is defined in the University policy Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults and Reporting Concerns of Safety or Welfare. It is a program, event or activity involving children that is being offered by: 1) an academic or administrative department or program of the University; and/or 2) both the University and an outside party as a collaboration between the parties under a written agreement. The definition of a child-related program does not include any University academic or administrative function that serves children who are matriculated students of Western.
To clarify in response to questions, a Western program does not include activities at an off-campus host site serving children where Western has no direct responsibility for the host site’s operations or programs. This may include sites hosting student internships, applied learning, practica, service learning, student teaching, or similar kinds activities as part of a University academic requirement or otherwise. Of course, keep in mind that our students will need to comply with the host site’s requirements and other applicable laws regarding their work with children, and in some cases the burden of preparing our students to meet those requirements (e.g. criminal background checks, training, etc.) may be shifted back to Western under an affiliation agreement with the host site.
Registering Your Program
Note: If your department has multiple programs, feel free to combine them in one registration and one questionnaire, if there are programmatic consistencies between them. List each one, though. If programs are substantively different, separate registrations and questionnaires are recommended.
STEP 1 - Preliminary Registration
Complete a preliminary registration of your child-related program(s) by submitting the Child-Related Program Registration Form as instructed. Find the e-sign form under "C" of the index. The preliminary registration merely notifies Risk Management of the existence of the program. Once you have registered, please go to step 2.
STEP 2 - Complete the Child-Related Program Best Practices Questionnaire
The goal of the questionnaire is to indicate where your program is in relation to recommended best practices (see Reference Information below). You are not expected to have all best practices in place, and some may not be feasible or even appropriate for your program. Please consult with Risk Management in order to assist you with assessing the need for implementing best practices for your program and then complete the questionnaire accordingly. Here's a link to the survey monkey questionnaire. Email Paul Mueller when you are done and ask him to email back to you a PDF of your completed questionnaire for step 3.
STEP 3 - Finalize Your Registration
Complete a final registration of your child related program(s) by submitting the Child-Related Program Registration Form as instructed with a copy of the PDF of your questionnaire attached to the e-sign form. The final registration occurs after you have consulted with Risk Management and completed the questionnaire.
For assistance, please e-mail Paul Mueller or call 360-650-3065.
- Preventing Child Sexual Abuse within Youth-Serving Organizations - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Guidelines for the Screening of Persons Working with Children, the Elderly, and Individuals with Disabilities in Need of Support - U.S. Department of Justice
Screening and Selecting Non-Faculty/Non-Staff:
Note: Faculty and staff (except student-employees) complete a criminal background check upon hire, which is facilitated by Human Resources. Those individuals are outside the scope of this screening and selection process. The following information only applies to students, student-employees, volunteers, independent contractors, and visiting scholars and researchers who are involved in your program.
- Criminal Background Checks
- Washington State's Child and Adult Abuse Information Act per RCW 43.43.830-43.845
- Are Criminal Background Checks Necessary for Your Program?
- Criminal Background Check Requirements by Level of Interaction with Children
- Obtaining Criminal Background Checks-An overview of Western's criminal background check processes
- Criminal Conviction Disclosure Form (example)
- Evaluating criminal background check results:
- DSHS list of disqualifying crimes or negative actions-An example of crimes or negative actions that would disqualify individuals from working or serving with unsupervised access to children
- Western's Human Services Prohibited Convictions-An example of crimes that may deny entry into the program
Training and Supervising:
- Overview of Training Requirements for Program Personnel
- Prevention and Recognition of Child Abuse
- Stewards of Children Workshops - This comprehensive 2-hour training is available at Western, Brigid Collins (in town) or On-Line
- Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-Serving Organizations
- Mandatory Reporting Requirements
- Reporting Concerns of Abuse or Neglect
- Reporting Harassment (including sexual), Intimidation and Bullying
- Reporting Communicable Diseases
- EOO Sexual Harassment Prevention
- Program Supervision
- See Components 2, 3 & 5 of Preventing Child Sexual Abuse within Youth-Serving Organizations
- Code of Conduct-For staff working with children (example)
- Rules for Supervising Children-For supervising staff (example)
- Behavioral considerations while working with children-Derived from various sources (example)
- Staff-To-Child Ratios or Supervision Ratios-Viable ACA guidance / Note minimum of 2 staff (example)
- Emergency Planning
- Program Participant List Form
- POL-U5300.21 Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults and Reporting Concerns of Safety or Welfare
- POL-5300.20 Bringing Children to Campus
- POL-U1600.04 Preventing and Responding to Sex Discrimination, including Sexual Misconduct
- POL-U5615.01 Responding to Campus Violence or Threats of Violence
- POL-U5620.02 Sex Offender Notification Policy
- POL-U5400.08 Conducting Background Checks
- POL-U1000.12 Reporting Communicable Diseases
- Program Registration Forms and Brochures - Examples and information available from Risk Management
- Contracts/Agreements - If your program collaborates with an external entity or individual, including an independent contractor, a written contract or agreement with Western should be executed. Contact the Purchasing and/or Contract Administration for assistance.
- Children with Disabilities - ADA Compliance
- Youth Program Records Retention Schedule
Ensuring a Safe Environment:
- See Component 4 of Preventing Child Sexual Abuse within Youth-Serving Organizations
For assistance, please e-mail Paul Mueller or call 360-650-3065.
Disclaimer: This website toolkit is for use by Western Washington University (WWU) only.
Neither Western, nor any officer, employee or volunteer of Western warrants the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of any information contained in this website, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked* from this website, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability or timeliness of such information. Portions of this website may be incorrect or not current. Other than Western personnel, any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this website does so at their own risk.
*This website has links to other websites. These may include links to websites operated by other government agencies, nonprofit organizations and commercial businesses.